German Court Says Spain Separatist Leader Can't Be Extradited for Rebellion

Casey Dawson
April 6, 2018

Spain's Supreme Court determined 25 Catalan leaders should be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobeying the state.

Puigdemont was arrested on entering Germany last month on a Spanish-issued warrant.

A German court has rejected an extradition request for Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont on the charge of rebellion for his role in the campaign for the region's independence.

Spanish authorities accuse Mr Puigdemont of rebellion and misuse of public funds in organising an unauthorised referendum previous year on Catalonia's independence from Spain.

But he must remain in Germany while extradition proceedings continue and report to police once a week.

This is a developing story.

The Spanish government said on Thursday night that it respected the court's ruling on Mr Puigdemont's extradition. The German court said it will consider his extradition on that count.

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Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dismissed Puigdemont's regional administration in the wake of the Catalan referendum and subsequent declaration of independence, illegal under the Spanish constitution.

Sanchez said in a letter from a Madrid jail published Thursday that he was ready to try again to be elected.

Puigdemont's lawyers have appealed in Spain against the "rebellion" charge, highlighting that he was not involved in violence.

The ex-police chief - who was credited for the force's swift response in the 2017 Barcelona terror attacks - resigned past year in the aftermath of the referendum.

Back then, Human Rights Watch (HRW) determined that the Spanish national police had used "excessive force towards peaceful Catalans expressing their political opinion".

He then came under pressure when central authorities urged the regional police to stop the October 1 referendum banned by Spanish courts.

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